Like many (read: most) Heroes fans, I have been increasingly disappointed with this show since the closing of Season 1. Chapter Three? Let's just not even go there. However, with the opening of Chapter Four, I finally feel hopeful again! Though we are still awaiting to feel the effects of Bryan Fuller's return (Dear Brian, I'm sorry your show died because it was amazing, but Heroes needs you!), I have to say that after Clear and Present Danger, things are starting to look up.
HRG is awesome again!
He has always been one of my favorite characters, if not my absolute favorite. But frankly, he got lame. It's good to finally see him being a kickass traitor villain type again. (Catching Mohinder with "Come with me if you want to live!"? Classic. Genius.)
Peter isn't ultra-powerful!
I may not miss Peter's Season 1 emo hair, but I am PSYCHED to see his Season 1 vulnerability and sensitivity back. Frankly, he only works as a part-time badass, like in the future scenes from Season 1.
Lack of Tracy!
I think Ali Larter has been marvelous on Heroes, but honestly, Niki should have died and that should have been the end of it. Tracy has been nothing but aggravating and I was way more thrilled than I should have been when all she did in this episode was get kidnapped and scream a lot.
Nathan is a bad guy again!
Adrian Pasdar is much better at being evil (or at least questionable) than at being brotherly/affectionate/heroic without undertones of badness. So it's good to see him back in sneaky politician mode.
I think, if he starts being more active, Zeljko Ivanek will join the ranks of excellent Heroes guest starts (Eric Roberts, Stephen Tobolowsky, David Anders, etc). Even if he doesn't, he's still awesome.
ON THE FENCE
I think Sylar is possibly the most fascinating character on the show and he is definitely one of the most well-developed, not to mention brilliantly performed by Zachary Quinto. But, I don't know about this new Sylar story. I think I'll have to wait and see whether or not this new storyline does it for me.
THINGS TO FIX
What did you do to Parkman?!
I LOVE Parkman, partly because I LOVE Greg Grunberg, and also because Parkman was always a great counter to those Heroes who were all "OMG, powers awesome!" without being whiney (read: like Claire). But now he paints the future? WTF. I never understood why that whole trip-to-Africa thing happened, unless the intention was to bring Parkman several levels down to "barely credible." But on the larger scheme (fangirling aside), do we really NEED someone to be able to paint/see the future? Why can't they NOT know what's coming, for a twist?
Mohinder, Mohinder, Mohinder. I think we can all agree, this character has gone from passable to horrible over the course of the last two chapters. He needs to either get fixed or get out.
Pick and choose storylines!
I know we're used to hopping around all over the place over the course of an episode, but I think there was just too much this time. I think Sylar could definitely have waited another episode (because really, all he did was learn something minimal and beat the crap out of some government guys - fun, but not really critical). More time on the Petrelli/Claire side of things and less time on Ando's motorcycle would have been better, in my opinion.
Hiro and Ando!
Like HRG, this pair started out being amazing and has just gone downhill ever since they got split up across four centuries. Unlike HRG, I still don't feel like they're back up to standard. Fingers crossed!
I don't know how others feel, but I really love Daphne. Finally, a female character with genuine layers besides Angela! There was less and less interesting Daphne over the course of Chapter Three and barely any of here in this episode. Give her a part with her or kill her off, but for the love of god, do SOMETHING.
It's five days until the next installment. Fingers cross